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Tuesday, 05 July 2011 10:33

Baseball Preview

2.19.11 | Baseball

Wildcat baseball team set for season opener

Chris Cummins

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Baseball season has officially arrived.

The Baker University baseball team will open its 2011 campaign this weekend on the campus of Rogers State University.

With 16 freshmen and five returning starters from a squad that went 17-24 in 2010, Wildcat coach Phil Hannon fully expects his team to be competitive.

“I think this group is very capable of playing good baseball,” said Hannon, entering his 11th year guiding Baker. “They compete very well, and I think we’ll have a good year.”

Among the returners is starting pitcher Chris Cummins (Corona, Calif.), who is coming off a season in which he went 7-1 with a 3.17 ERA. Junior leadoff man Steven Stewart (Shawnee, Kan.) and slugging leader Brandon Truitt (Kansas City, Kan.) will look to carry the load offensively. Stewart had a batting average of .372 with 24 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 2010. Truitt led the team with five home runs while driving in 26.

Defensively, juniors Jose Orozco (Chula Vista, Calif.) and Northern Oklahoma State College transfer Matthew Abel (Eudora, Kan.) look to stabilize the Wildcats‘ outfield with speed and athleticism.

“I think we’ve got a really athletic group that has been looking forward to the start of the season for a long time,” added Hannon.

The Hillcats (5-1) have already recorded victories against Dallas Christian, Howard Payne and Ottawa University. The Hillcats were picked to finish seventh in the Sooner Athletic Conference Coaches‘ Poll.

The Saturday and Sunday doubleheaders are slated to begin at 1 p.m.

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